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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum closing for six months in 2022

The National Air and Space Museum‘s flagship building is set to reopen with eight new galleries in fall 2022.

smithsonian national air and space museum

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. has announced that it is closing for six months in 2022 to install new galleries as part of its renovation project.

The National Air and Space Museum’s flagship building on the National Mall will close to the public on March 28, 2022. It will reopen with eight new galleries in fall 2022.

The closure will allow the museum, which has been undergoing major renovations since late 2018, to complete work on the galleries in the building’s west wing. The opening date will be announced next year.

New galleries opening in fall 2022

  • America by Air
  • The Wright Brothers & the Invention of the Aerial Age
  • Nation of Speed
  • Thomas W. Haas We All Fly
  • One World Connected
  • Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery
  • Destination Moon
  • Early Flight

The museum store and Albert Einstein Planetarium will also open in fall 2022. Additionally, the deinstallation of the east wing of the building will begin at the end of March 2022. The east wing is scheduled to complete in 2025.

During the closure, the Smithsonian will share content from the National Air and Space Museum at other locations on the National Mall. The museum has also expanded its digital offerings in recent years.

National Air and Space Museum

These include online discussions with museum experts and guests, online story time, virtual scavenger hunts, and lectures from leaders in aviation and space exploration.

The National Air and Space Museum recently received a £200m donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – the largest gift to the Smithsonian since its founding donation in 1846 from James Smithson

$70m will support the renovation project, while $130m will go towards a new education centre. “The Smithsonian plays a vital role in igniting the imaginations of our future builders and dreamers,” Bezos said.

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the museum’s companion facility in Chantilly, Virginia, will operate as usual.

Images: The Smithsonian

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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